In 2023, we saw a boom in the opening of massive pickleball complexes throughout the U.S. Empty shopping centers and office complexes are being repurposed to include courts.
Among the emerging pickleball brands with multiple locations and courts are:
The pickleball market alone is estimated to be valued at $2.8B by 2028.
Hot on that sport’s heels is Padel, a racket sport that’s currently popular in Latin America and Europe. Just as soccer took the U.S. by storm, padel is making its way across the Atlantic. Monitor Deloitte forecasts that about 85K padel courts will be built worldwide by 2026. That’s more than double the current number. The market is expected to hit a valuation of $500M by 2031.
Badminton and squash are having a moment too. And table tennis, platform tennis, and racketball have long been popular activities for a wide range of players.
But players are not just going to these facilities to get their game on. They are building courts in their homes and are looking for multi-family complexes that have state-of-the-art and plentiful racket sports facilities.
Along with that growth comes investment dollars. And the financial media is filled with articles about the potential for expansion.
Building courts is not the only way savvy investors are looking at the racket sports industry.
We recently talked to Andrew Petcash, Founder GP, Profluence Capital. He is one of the thought leaders sharing his perspective at RacquetX from March 24th to 26th at the Miami Convention Center.
Here’s a glimpse into his perspective as a seasoned investor:
Why are racquet sports becoming such a popular investment?
“Racquet sports appeal among diverse age groups rendering them a dynamic and engaging choice. These sports are not only beneficial for physical health, enhancing fitness and mental wellness, but also promote community interaction and social involvement, which is crucial in today’s digital age. From an economic perspective, there’s a growing market for equipment, facilities, courts, and coaching. Furthermore, the heightened media coverage and sponsorship in professional tournaments underscore their potential for commercial success. Additionally, the lasting popularity of racquet sports suggests a stable and enduring investment.”
What advice do you have for people considering a racquet sports investment?
“The foremost advice is to commence with comprehensive market research to gain a deep understanding. Start with modest investments and incrementally increase them as your knowledge expands. Emphasize diversification by exploring different areas within racquet sports. Prioritize building a robust community, as this is vital for long-term growth and maintaining interest. Keep up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in the sector. Lastly, maintain a long-term outlook; investments in sports often require time to become profitable, so patience and a strategic plan are essential.”
What racquet sport is best to start with?
“That depends on the type of investment. Either become the absolute best in your niche – top padel court investor or stay more generalist – invest across all of the racquet sports.”
Any words of caution?
“Understand your time of return and make sure there’s an actual strategy. It’s a lot different investing in software apps compared to courts or equipment. Margins and scalability should always be top of mind.”
Who are some of today’s investors who are “crushing it” in racquet sports investments?
“Most of the best racquet sports investors are big companies investing strategically in new products that can benefit their current portfolio. Some organizations like the Australian Open even have an innovation program for startups now. EEP Capital has done a nice job being known for padel investments.”
Join us in Miami on March 24th to 26th and you’ll hear directly from Petcash as well as many other racquet sports investors, real estate professionals, clubs, product and service providers, and technology companies. Register here.